Last night’s announcement was a significant move to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, with all non-essential business premises told to close.
This morning’s BID update is a summary of key points that will affect the majority of BID Businesses. It’s taken from the source document: Guidance: Further businesses and premises to close (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, March 2020). You can download the full document here.
I’m going to release a number of updates today. This one summarises who can and cannot stay open. Later updates will include news of any financial support information that’s released today, and specific action the BID Is taking to support your businesses whilst the Coronavirus continues to affect us all.
On 23 March the Government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.
Key points for Bognor Regis Businesses:
The message from the government could not be made any clearer: All non-essential premises must now close.
Essential Businesses that CAN stay open to customers
· Supermarkets and other food shops, health shops
· pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies
· petrol stations
· bicycle shops
· home and hardware shops
· launderettes and dry cleaners
· bicycle shops
· car rentals
· pet shops
· corner shops
· post offices
There are strict rules as to how these businesses that can still allow customers into their premises must operate. I’ll cover these below.
Businesses that must close to customers
· Everything else. Seriously – if your business does not fall into any of the categories above, do not open your doors to customers.
Takeaway and Delivery
· Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance on Friday 20 March. This means that cafes and restaurants can continue to take orders, accept payment, make food and deliver it to people’s homes, without making contact and without letting customers into your physical business premises for any reason.
· Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal. This means that, if your business can continue to take orders, accept payment, package orders and deliver it to people’s homes without making contact and without letting customers into your physical premises for any reason.
However, the new rules on staying at home and away from others also clearly states that you can leave the house to travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Everyone is instructed to comply with the rules issued by the government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others. The closure of non-essential businesses is now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health.
If your business breaks the rules of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 by staying open when you shouldn’t, or breaching the strict guidelines on how to manage people coming into your essential business, you will be committing an offence.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and premises that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines.
Social Distancing Rules for Essential Retail and Public Premises which remain open:
If your business is listed as “essential”, you MUST
· Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants; and
· Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
· Queue control is required outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open.
I’ll get more information out to you as the day progresses. There wasn’t any further detail from any sources yesterday about the grants or business rates reliefs, but I’ll let you know as soon as I hear ANYTHING.
Even though Clair and I are working from home, you can still contact us by email: email@example.com, by phone: 07917 692690 or through Zoom meeting software. The software is free to download and works across a wide range of platforms – phones, tablets, PC’s, Macs. If you’d like a virtual face to face, please invite: firstname.lastname@example.org If you haven’t already, please start following us on Facebook, as that’s where we post links to the updates on our websites: https://www.facebook.com/bognorregisBID/
Kindest regards, Heather
Heather Allen, BR BID Co-Ordinator